I want to share with you the remodeling journey of my home office. I went from something drab to the exciting and colorful workspace that it is today. Maybe I will inspire you to do your own DIY home office remodeling project.
My Home Office Starting Point
When we moved into our house, I chose a spare bedroom on the walk-out lower level to be my office. The whole house had plain white walls and light brown carpeting.
Six months after moving in, we had a water issue… a major issue. We slept in shifts to keep the water from flooding into the rest of the house until we could get a crew in to fix the problem.
We hired a company to break up the concrete to put in drain tiles and a sump pump.
Yes, that is a big pile of sand in my home office they dug out from under the foundation!
Thankfully, the repair worked and there has been no issue since. I spent a lot of time cleaning the floor and walls because, it’s not clean until I say it’s clean. Concrete dust gets everywhere!
Planning the Home Office Remodel
My husband has home design software because he likes to tinker with designs. We talked through my vision and he made that vision appear on-screen.
In the final design, we removed the two sets of bifold door closets and replaced with a single square closet (for the sump pump) and a built-in sitting area with book shelves and a pull-out queen-sized bed.
Building the New Walls
The closet is a square that encloses the sump pump. We insulated the walls and the pipes to cut down on the sound of the pump.
We framed in and hung the drywall on the rest of the former-closet-space to become the space for the bookshelves and sitting area.
Time for paint!
I love to paint. It is such a joy to watch the new-ness come to life. I focused on the Lily of the Valley as the inspiration for my decorating. I chose two colors of green and a blue for the walls. The trim is white and I even repainted the ceiling.
When painting my office, I also painted the closet door and blades of the ceiling fan. The ceiling fan blades were a dark brown. I primed them and painted then the light green color.
I found a cable management system to hide where the Internet enters our home and painted it to match the wall.
A sump pump means humidity and we didn’t want to ruin carpeting if there were ever any more water problems so the floor of the closet is inexpensive vinyl flooring we picked up at the hardware store.
For the main floor in the office, I decided I didn’t want carpeting. If the sump pump ever failed, I didn’t want to rip out and throw away more carpeting. This is where I spent the most money on the project. It’s a cork-backed floating wood-look vinyl tile system — it’s not adhered to the floor. I love the wood look because it helps to warm the feel of my office.
Building the Convertible Seat and Bed System
The rule we joke about here is that all sitting areas need to convert to sleeping areas so friends and family always have a place to crash.
I turned to Pinterest for ideas and found a system that someone built inside their van to convert a bench seat into a bed. My husband (designer) and brother (builder) took my vision and built a plan.
The bed is a standard queen-size and has storage underneath. The bed is not attached to the wall and it is on casters. It is possible to rotate it 90 degrees to make it more accessible for those who may have accessibility problems climbing over a sleeping partner to get out of bed during the night.
Using the handles on the front, the couch pulls out to a queen-sized bed.
Making the Cushions and Mattress
The mattress for the bed/couch is a three-layer queen-sized foam mattress that I bought on Amazon (Note: this is an affiliate link). The bottom layer is a standard foam and has two densities of memory foam on top. I spent around $150 for the mattress.
We let the mattress “rest” for a few days, as instructed, before cutting it. It is very easy to cut foam with an electric knife. I was surprised that it didn’t make a mess all over the floor. It was a very clean process.
We cut the mattress so that the biggest piece is the one that is the seat when the bed is in the collapsed state. The remaining section we cut into two equal pieces. They are the seat-back when collapsed. When the bed is pulled out, they all lie next to each other to completely fill the space.
Covering the Cushions
I covered each piece of foam with a zip-on canvas cover that I made. I chose cotton canvas because it is durable, breathes, and is washable. Each is also covered in a decorative fabric that can be removed for cleaning.
The green in the decorative covers is a perfect match to the light green paint on the walls.
Adding the Bookshelves in the Sitting Space
What’s a sitting area without being surrounded by books? We added as many shelves as the space would permit. I have space for all my craft books, my photo albums of my kids, various pieces of art, and cherished memory items.
The bottom “shelf” is the cover of the walled in area. We set it up so that no one would have to deal with dangling cords. There are holes in the top through which we can drop in cords for small lamps and an access panel for reaching the outlets.
DIY Pinch-Pleated Curtains for Window Treatments
I wanted to make my own pinch-pleated curtains on a traverse rod. I found a blue drapery fabric that is a near match to the blue in the sitting area. It has been several years since I made pinch-pleated curtains. I found instructions online and had to tweak the instructions just a bit to force my pleats to align with the vertical stripes in the fabric. They turned out perfect and balance the colors in the room.
The Rest of the Story
The remaining things to do in the office were to move everything back in and decorate. My computer sits in the corner opposite the sitting area.
I had these old shelf-style candle sconces that were stained a dark brown (because that’s what people did in the 70s). With a couple of coats of primer and a gloss-white paint, they help to decorate the wall on either side of the seat. I added electric candles that I wrapped in a green ribbon to match the light green walls and blue flower that matches the blue walls.
This cute foot stool I found on Amazon but the cover was not attractive. I ran across a piece of scrap leather that was astonishingly close to the color of my walls and replaced the cover. I lined the lid with fabric that has Lily of the Valley flowers — the original inspiration for my home office remodel!
One wall is my Family Wall. That is where I put pictures of my family and other items that are special to me.
One of the walls is my Art Wall. Some of the art was created by me, some for me, and some bought for me.
I hope you enjoyed the journey.